Argentina’s finance minister resigns after market rout

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Buenos Aires, Aug. 18 (BNA): Argentina’s Finance Minister Nicolás Dujovne resigned on Saturday after the ruling coalition’s resounding defeat in primary elections a week ago, which was seen as harsh judgment on the poor performance of the country’s economy since a currency crisis last year.

Dujovne, who will be replaced by Hernán Lacunza, finance minister for the province of Buenos Aires — sent a letter to President Mauricio Macri admitting “undoubtedly we have made mistakes”.

“I [resign] convinced that, in light of the circumstances, the administration that you lead needs a significant renewal in the economic area,” wrote Dujovne, the Financial Times reported.

The move follows the surprisingly easy victory in primary elections last Sunday for Macri’s Peronist opponent, Alberto Fernández, whose running mate is former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who is no relation.

The result triggered a sell-off in the markets, with the currency depreciating by 15% on Monday.

Bond prices plummeted and the local stock market lost 37% of its value, the biggest drop in its history and one of the largest falls in any stock market in the past 70 years.